Just as they did through most of the regular season, the 31st Engineer Battalion dominated their final match of the Commander’s Cup Volleyball Tournament, defeating the 14th Military Police Brigade, 25-15, 25-12, to claim the championship trophy Dec. 13 at Davidson Fitness Center.
“We just had a lot of fun,” said Jeff O’Loughlin, 31st Engr. Bn. player/coach. “We worked together as a team, and the Engineers are taking home the trophy. I’m happy to be a part of it.”
Ryan Tiafane led the 31st Engineers in scoring with three spikes and a hit in the first game and two more spikes and a hit in the second game. Titi Kaisa followed with a block, a spike and back-to-back aces in the first game, along with a hit and a key block in the second. Jordan Weber, Joe Maxwell, Peter Stull and O’Loughlin also scored during the final match.
Scorers for the 14th MP Bde. included Ryan Blas, Andrew Mans, Nilo Colitoy, Axel Torres and Cody Sullivan.
In both games, the 31st Engineers jumped out to an early lead and built on it the remainder of the game.
O’Loughlin credited the team’s success — which also included finishing first in the regular season with a record of 10-2 — with taking advantage of additional practice time.
“(We) get a little extra practice in when we don’t have games. It helps us get better at the small things, and it helps us do well,” he said.
Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Chief of Sports Coleman Swinton presented the championship trophy to the 31st Engr. Bn. after presenting the second-place trophy to the 14th MP Bde.
Prior to the championship match, the 3rd Battalion, 10th Infantry Regiment won the tournament’s third-place match in three games. After losing the first game to the 2nd Battalion, 48th Infantry Regiment, 25-23, the 3-10th Inf. Bn. tied the match with a 25-19 win in the second game, then won the tiebreaker, 15-6.
“I think we came back from the last game we had, where we were kind of down,” said Mauricio Montalvo, 3-10th Inf. Bn., coach. “I think everybody got together, the team kind of woke up. We all played together as a team and were motivated.”
Montalvo said the 3-10th Inf. Bn. players also took advantage of the 2-48th Inf. Bn. players’ fatigue midway through the second game.
“We noticed the other team was kind of tired, and that’s when we went on the attack,” Montalvo explained. “We took advantage of that, found their weak spots and came up with the win.”
The tournament began Dec. 11 at DFC, with the 2-48th Inf. Bn., the 3-10th Inf. Bn. and the 14th MP Bde. advancing from the first round. In the semifinals, played Dec. 12, the 31st Engr. Bn. beat the 2-48th Inf. Bn. 25-13, 25-21 to advance to the championship round, while the 14th MP Bde. defeated the 3-10th Inf. Bn. 25-17, 25-24 to advance.
Commander’s Cup advances
The volleyball tournament was the fourth event in the Commander’s Cup Series for the 2019 fiscal year.
The next Commander’s Cup events are the stand-alone singles-racquetball tournament, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 14, and the annual swim meet, slated for Feb. 23.
The next intramural sport on the calendar is basketball, which begins Jan. 15. Military units must register by Jan. 9 to participate in the basketball season. Units must complete the season to qualify for the Commander’s Cup Basketball Tournament.
To sign up, or for more information, units should contact Davidson Fitness Center at 573.596.4359.
Rec League winners
Between the third- and first-place matches, Swinton presented the trophies to this year’s Recreation Volleyball League winners. Serv-R-Us coach Keresesia Kaisa accepted the second-place trophy on behalf of her team, while player/coach Orlando Galarza accepted the first-place trophy on behalf of The Fallen Outdoors.
“We had some really good competition with Serve-R-Us. They’re a good team; they’ve won it the past couple of years, but we were finally able to beat them this year,” Galarza said.
Both The Fallen Outdoors and Serv-R-Us won their final matches of the season, held Dec. 10. The Fallen Outdoors beat the 2-48th Inf. Bn. team in two games with a combined score of 50-33, while Serv-R-Us picked up a forfeit win and the 3-10th Inf. Bn. beat the 2-48th Inf. Bn. in three games by a combined score of 58-43.
The Fallen Outdoors and Serv-R-Us finished the season with records of 7-1. The 2-48th Inf. Bn. finished in third place with a record of 2-6; the Company B, 554th Engineer Battalion finished in fourth place, also with a record of 2-6; the 3-10th Inf. Bn. team finished in fifth place with a record of 1-7.